Performing Arts

Weekly conversations and insights on the fine line between setback and success in the performing arts. Fellow creatives share their own journey as artists and the lessons learned along the way with host Patrick Oliver Jones, an actor who knows first-hand the ups and downs we all face.

Episodes

After our conversation on the previous episode, Roberto answers the Final Five. He shares his love of CBS Sunday Morning and his dream of playing the Baker in INTO THE WOODS as well as that the time he forgot to press the record button.

Do you have other ideas for Final Five questions? Let me know at contact.winmipodcast.com.

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The time and expense needed to bring these guests and conversations to you each week is sometimes challenging but always rewarding. Please consider buying me a coffee to support this work that goes into each episode: ko-fi.com/winmipodcast

 
Do you have questions or stories of your own? Share them with me: contact.winmipodcast.com
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Season 4 Survey: https://winmipodcast.typeform.com/to/SdODaMU7

I first got to know Roberto when putting together the Season Three opener with Caroline Bowman. He had taken beautiful photos of her as she was preparing for the National Tour of Disney's FROZEN. I wanted him to come on the show to share his experiences and insights on making the best headshots possible. So get ready to take some notes. 

Little did I know, though, the backstory and struggles he's been through. From a family unwilling to accept his sexuality and being homeless in NYC to the "casual racism" he has encountered in the industry. Roberto really opens up and shares an enlightening story that can both inspire our craft and push us to change the underlying biases still present in theater. 

Follow Roberto: Instagram / TwitterYouTube / Website 

Follow WINMI: Instagram / Twitter / Website / Medium 

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WINMI is a Top 20 Podcast thanks to you!  https://blog.feedspot.com/theatre_podcasts/ 

Reach out with any questions or comments: contact.winmipodcast.com 
 
The time and expense needed to bring these guests and conversations to you each week is sometimes challenging but always rewarding. Please consider buying me a coffee to support this work that goes into each episode: https://ko-fi.com/winmipodcast 
 
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After our conversation on the previous episode, Cris answers the Final Five. He shares why he'd love to teach and his dream to be in CATS as well as what he learned from Tyler Perry.

Do you have other ideas for Final Five questions? Let me know at contact.winmipodcast.com.

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The time and expense needed to bring these guests and conversations to you each week is sometimes challenging but always rewarding. Please consider buying me a coffee to support this work that goes into each episode.

 
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In this longer episode than normal, I am honored and grateful to have this enormously gifted artist on the show. Cris Eli Blak may only be a senior in college, but he has wisdom far beyond his years to share with all of us.

From thoughts on the current racial tensions gripping this country to how theater can be a voice in the midst of it, Cris shares from the heart and from his art. He opens up about his own challenges and struggles as a writer, how growing up without a father affected him, and the type of writing and storytelling he wants to give the world.

This is a touching and moving episode that will leave you with a better understanding of where we are and a brighter hope for where we can ultimately go.

Topics covered in this episode:

 - Do The Right Thing 30 Years Later 

 - Spike Lee on HuffPost Live 

 - The Brother's Survivor short film 

 - The World Changes Through Art 

 - Our Duty to Confront Racism in Theater Industry 

 - "Like Father, Like Son" on the Logue Lounge 

 - All-White Production Of HAIRSPRAY In Texas Raises Eyebrows 

 - Should There Be All-White Productions of HAIRSPRAY? 

 

Follow Cris: Instagram / YouTube / Medium 

Follow WINMI: Instagram / Twitter / Website / Medium

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WINMI is a Top 20 Podcast thanks to you! https://blog.feedspot.com/theatre_podcasts/ 

Reach out with any questions or comments: contact.winmipodcast.com 
 
The time and expense needed to bring these guests and conversations to you each week is sometimes challenging but always rewarding. Please consider buying me a coffee to support this work that goes into each episode. 
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Samantha Figgins is currently in her sixth season with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. But what many people don't know is that this gorgeous dancer suffers from single-sided deafness. As a baby, Figgins contracted spinal meningitis, which caused her to lose all hearing in her right ear. She never gave up on her dance dreams, though, and fought her way through uncomfortable situations, never missing an opportunity to learn and grow. In this episode, she shares her love of dance, her passion in telling stories, and the discipline that makes it all possible.

Listen to the previous episode all about Alvin Ailey.

Dance Spirit cover in 2013 

Watch Samantha dance in Revelations on TED: https://youtu.be/0f4wtD8eXNk 

Follow her: Instagram / Twitter 

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WINMI is a Top 20 Podcast thanks to you! 
https://blog.feedspot.com/theatre_podcasts/ 

Join the WINMI community: Instagram or Twitter (@winmipodcast) 
Reach out with any questions or comments: contact.winmipodcast.com 
 
The time and expense needed to bring these guests and conversations to you each week is sometimes challenging but always rewarding. Please consider buying me a coffee to support this work that goes into each episode.

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"I Been 'Buked" and "Fix Me, Jesus" arranged by Hall Johnson. G. Schirmer, Inc., publisher and copyright owner.

"Kitty In The Window" by Podington Bear is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 International License. Based on a work at http://soundofpicture.com

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When it comes to the performing arts and certainly to dance, there are few people more worthy of admiration, of inspiration and imitation than Alvin Ailey. He was both uniquely gifted and qualified to tell the African-American experience which he lived and saw and reacted to through the art of dance. 

If you follow me or the podcast on social media, you know that I’m a white man who also grew up in the South. I was certainly witness to and heard tinges of racism growing up, but was fortunately sheltered for the most part from those who held such a deep-seeded hatred. A bigotry that Ailey knew first-hand. Growing up in the South, he had his own struggles with self-esteem due to the acts of racial violence so prevalent in those formative years.
 
Within the theater, we have playwrights and lyricists who can put difficult feelings and hard lessons into words. They show us parts of humanity that can be both glorious and despicable. But theater is not with us right now, the stage is silent. And so in the last few days, in light of the events that led to George Floyd‘s death and its aftermath, I have looked for and listened to past voices for both understanding and action, comfort and courage. 
 
One of my most treasured experiences and memories of being here in New York City is getting to watch the Alvin Ailey American dance concerts each winter and summer. They consist of powerful and moving performances by amazingly talented dancers. And so it was only natural that my thoughts would go to the stories and emotions told through the pieces that Alvin Ailey choreographed himself, namely his iconic Revelations, which was inspired by his involvement within the Southern Black church. In fact, all of his work came forth from the people and places and experiences of his life. 
 
People and choreography discussed: 

Videos and interviews used in the making of this episode:

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The time and expense needed to compile and edit this epiosde was at times challenging but ultimately rewarding. Please consider buying me a coffee to support this work that goes into each episode. 

For further insights on the topics covered in this episode follow on Twitter @winmipodcast: https://twitter.com/winmipodcast/ 

Quotes and unreleased audio clips follow on Instagram @winmipodcast: https://www.instagram.com/winmipodcast/ 

 
Do you have questions or stories of your own? Share them with me: contact.winmipodcast.com 

 

Music used in this episode:

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At the end of our previous insightful conversation, Douglas Sills gave his answers to the Final Five questions. He shares a story of his mentor who recently passed away as well as his interests finance and veterinarian medicine. After his answer to best advice, I kept the recording going and it opened into a deeper conversation about happiness and feeling (un)motivated.

Do you have other ideas for Final Five questions? Let me know at contact.winmipodast.com.

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The time and expense needed to bring these guests and conversations to you each week is sometimes challenging but always rewarding. Please consider buying me a coffee to support this work that goes into each episode.

 
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His iconic Broadway debut in SCARLET PIMPERNEL may have made Douglas Sills a Broadway star, but his head has never been in the clouds. In today's episode, he has his feet firmly on the ground and shares how he left the business (twice) and what brought him back.

His insights are a seasoned look not only at his career but at the kind of person he wants to be. From understanding luck's role in his career to realizing that having a life means so much more than making a living, Douglas is both confident and vulnerable in this honest look at what "making it" really means.

That Tony Awards performance that inspired me and made me a fan of Douglas Sills: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gpAXrY2rf_s&list=RDgpAXrY2rf_s&start_radio=1

Follow Doug: Twitter / Instagram 
Follow WINMI: Instagram / Twitter

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May this podcast be a resource for you as you discover more ways to pursue a career in this industry and sustain it through the many ups and downs that follow. 

Music in this episode: "Little Idea" by Scott Holmes is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial License.

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After our conversation on the previous episode, Mykal and Hannah answer the Final Five questions. They share stories of the individuals who have inspired them as artists as well as their interests in education and geology. They finish with why it's so important to be on time and the proper place for performance in an artist's life.

Do you have other ideas for Final Five questions? Let me know at contact.winmipodast.com.

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The time and expense needed to bring these guests and conversations to you each week is sometimes challenging but always rewarding. Please consider buying me a coffee to support this work that goes into each episode.

 
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Hannah Elless and Mykal Kilgore (and myself) first met doing a reading of a new musical called THE STAR CHILD. They have each gone on to do three Broadway shows, but they still love that new-car smell of a fresh, unknown piece of theater.

In today's conversation they explain why new works are so important, how their big families taught them to collaborate, and what success means to them and how they are still striving for it. Plus, they talk about the dream of a Broadway debut versus the reality of getting one.

 - Listen to my episode with Jenny Stafford, book writer for STAR CHILD. 
 - Hear a song from Mykal's A MAN BORN BLACK. 
 - Watch Hannah's multi-instrument talents on display in "Ashville" from BRIGHT STAR. 

Follow on Instagram: Hannah Elless / Mykal Kilgore 

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May this podcast be a resource for you as you discover more ways to pursue a career in this industry and sustain it through the many ups and downs that follow. 

 

Music used in this episode from Podington Bear is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 International License. "Sidecar" • "Kitty in a Window" • "Smooth Actor"

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